Shank and Kerg left the bus and headed down the barren road. It wasn't long before Kerg had to answer the call of nature and rushed forward to a massive pothole in the road to do so.
"Aw, just use that bush over there!" said Shank.
But Kerg ignored him and headed to the edge of the hole. Looking in he jumped back in shock and fright. "Jesus Christ!"
Shank drew his weapons as Kerg ran back toward him. There came a terrible moaning from the pit and out of it emerged three nightmare creatures. The foul things had pinkish-gray skin and were about a dwarf's height, maybe smaller, with long, spindly limbs. Seeing their sharp, bony claws, drooping facial skin, and pointed teeth, Shank realized they were witch-spawn.
The creatures shambled forward toward Shank and Kerg. Shank threw a dagger that went wide, and Kerg shot at one with his crossbow. The creatures moved very sluggishly.
"They're slow!" called Shank. "Keep your distance from them and keep shooting. Don't let them close on you!"
Shank dashed behind a bush, and nearly ran headlong into a wasteland mutant who was already hiding there. The mutant dropped the bucket he was holding and a number of severed hands and feet spilled out onto the ground. Before Shank could react, the mutant took off running down the road.
Shank encounters a mutant behind the bush, as the fleshlings emerge from the pit.
"No time to deal with that now," thought Shank, who turned his attention back to helping Kerg with the fleshlings.
The man and the dwarf ran and dodged, bobbed and weaved. Kerg would sprint to a new position and reload. Shank tried to draw the witch-spawn across Kerg's field of shot as the dwarf released another bolt. Then they did it all over again.
Dashing around the battlefield, Shank and Kerg keep their distance from the witch-spawn.
The mutant has run off the map.
One of the fleshlings finally went down with a bolt through its chest. But at the same time another monster closed on Kerg. He tried to release another bolt, but missed wildly. Shank ran up to the creature and transpierced it from behind.
Shank stabs a witch-spawn in the back.
Seeing its two brothers slain, the third ran back to its pit in the middle of the road, where it rocked back and forth convulsively, covering its head with its arms. Shank and Kerg approached the pit carefully. Shank threw his dagger, and Kerg shot his crossbow. That was the end of the third witch-spawn.
The two rogues found the pit was filled with tar, and littered with the skeletal remains of various humans and humanoids. Neither man nor dwarf had the stomach to rummage through the tar and bones.
They went back to the bush and examined the bucket and its contents. Perhaps the mutant was feeding the monsters. Perhaps he'd been scavenging to feed himself. The thieves found both options unsettling.
On the road, Shank and Kerg examined an odd human skull that was about 60% bone and 40% aquamarine. They picked it up to take with them.
Looking over at the metal door from one of the metal carriages that seemed to litter the road, Shank asked Kerg to help him flip it over. In a compartment on the inner side of the door the two found a bottle of spirits with healing properties – there were two doses remaining.
Scanning the horizon in the direction of the mutant's flight, Shank and Kerg spied a metal shack, toward which the mutant was still fleeing. Shank called out to the mutant, and held up the bucket as an offering to show he meant no harm to the fellow. The mutant panicked and ran even faster into the shack. Shank put the bucket back down on the side of the road.
"I'm not sure I like the look of that shack," said Shank. "If that creature was feeding the fleshlings, he may be serving some witch, and she may be near. I say we move on, and quickly."
"You'll get no argument from me, friend Shank," replied Kerg.